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Roots

by J. W. Jepson, D.Min.

Life In Christ Center, 3095 Cherry Heights Road, The Dalles, Oregon 97058

(541) 296-1136

copyright � 1998 by J. W. Jepson

All rights reserved, including the right to grant the following permission and to prohibit the misuse thereof:

The Author hereby grants permission to reproduce the text of this article, without changes or alterations*, as a ministry, but not for commercial or non-ministry purposes.

*Permission is given for publication of excerpts and condensed versions.

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(First published in The Pentecostal Evangel, January 8, 1995)

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A number of years ago my wife and I returned to the scene of our honeymoon among the redwoods of California. As we strolled hand-in-hand along the tree-lined pathways of Yosemite National Park, suddenly we came upon a huge sequoia that had blown over during the previous winter's storms.

It was a gigantic conifer, with broad branches and a massive trunk, looking every bit as strong as the trees still standing majestically around it. Once it had stood among them, but now it lay on the ground a fallen giant.

We wondered why the winds conquered this king of the forest when its companions, enduring the same severe gales, still pointed their awesome spires triumphantly toward the heavens.

We stood on the edge of the shallow crater that remained after the tree had been torn from its socket in the earth. There we found the answer.

What had been hidden was now exposed. Instead of a deep taproot and broad supporting structures, there were just a few twisted wooden fingers clenched in a gnarled fist at the end of the trunk.

While it stood, that redwood looked as strong as the rest. But when the storm hit, it fell because it had no roots.

Some people are like that. Jesus said so in Mark 4:17. He said they have "no root in themselves." They have no deep and abiding principles, no moral absolutes, no spiritual priorities and imperatives, no ultimate point of reference, no hold on the truth, no stabilizing commitment to Christ and to eternal values. When the storm of temptation or trouble hits, they fall.

Spiritual roots are vital. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river" (Jeremiah 17:7,8). "A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. The root of the righteous yieldeth fruit" (Proverbs 12:2,12).

The tree receives its strength and its life by its roots. So in Christ we have life (John 10:10). We are "rooted and built up in him" (Colossians 2:7), "rooted and grounded" in love (Ephesians 3:17).

We need to examine our spiritual "root structure," to make sure that the taproot of our faith penetrates deeply, takes hold of the Rock Christ Jesus, and feeds upon the Word of God. Then each of us will be "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:3).

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